Shot Caller


The end is nigh for TV mega hit Game of Thrones. No doubt many of the cast will be happy to see the back of Westeros and finally move on from the commitment that comes from being in a long running show.

But what will become of them? Well, great Dane Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays fan favourite sister-lovin’ Jaime Lannister, has already began his transition, and is moving on with this powerful prison drama.

boom reviews Shot Caller
It's only now that i regret gluing our hands together.

Life couldn’t be going much better for Jacob (Coster-Waldau); he’s well off as a stockbroker, married to Kate (Lake Bell), who is studying to be an interior designer, with a young son they both adore.

Out of the blue however, his world changes dramatically, driving friends back from dinner, whilst still being under the influence of a few drinks. He causes an accident and a fatality occurs, resulting in him going to prison.

Doing time, Jacob soon learns that he has to follow new rules to survive, and one of the first is to join a powerful Aryan brotherhood. As you might expect, they aren’t exactly your hug-it-out type of guys, and Jacob, through his actions, finds himself becoming a completely different person to who he once was, doing heinous things he would never have dreamed of. Doing time definitely changes the man.

boom reviews Shot Caller
I hate being skins in dodgeball. I feel so vulnerable right now.

If you’re looking for a flick that has an above average amount of testosterone on screen, then Shot Caller may well be for you. Not only do you have a bulkier than usual Coster-Waldau, parading around a lot of the time without a shirt on, but he’s also joined by the Punisher himself Jon Bernthal, Omari Hardwick (TV’s Power), Jeffrey Donovan (TV’s Burn Notice), and Benjamin Pratt (TV’s Star). Oh and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) from New Girl. All that can be said is that the on-set gym must have been damn busy.

Director Ric Roman Waugh, who rather unusually has made the move from being a successful stunt man to behind the camera, manages to prevent the testosterone boiling over by creating a well-paced and absorbing prison drama. It could have easily leaped from beyond the realms of reality and gone full throttle, and yet Waugh restrains the film in favour of stark rawness and believability.

He’s helped a whole lot by Coster-Waldau though; he manages to keep his character’s feet firmly on the ground, and despite the occasional implausibility of his journey, Coster-Waldau never lets you doubt that this is indeed the route he took. To that end, it’s difficult to take your eyes off of him.

Shot Caller is a tough, striking depiction of prison life, and what one man must give up in order to survive. And although the story does feel far-fetched in places, it more than makes up for it by being extremely well told.

And as far as Coster-Waldau’s career is concerned post GoT, there’s no need for concern if he continues to flex his considerable acting muscle as he does here.

we give this four out of five